Institute Architecture Essay, Research Paper
The Purpose of Architecture is to shelter and enhance man s life on earth and to fulfill his belief in the nobility of his existence. Eero Saarinen
Architecture establishes the atmosphere in which we create, live, and complete our existence. It can manipulate our emotions, our decisions, even our actions. With this in mind, architects must establish the correct ambiance to correlate with the buildings purpose. In other words its form must follow it function. Many factors are involved in creating the perfect form of a building, some as simple as the color and some as complex as the ventilation system, but all must be in balance to create a comfortable setting. For example, a theatres lighting (not stage lighting) is almost always is faintly lit, while a hospital is distinctly brighter. No one would pay to see Shakespeare s Romeo and Juliet in a hospital, or have a bypass surgery performed in a theatre. But when the variables are fitting, we feel connected with the surroundings. One place that I am content in is the Impressionist gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago. The gallery is an exemplary model of how exhibitions should be designed. In the following pages, one will learn what is expected of museum architecture (from general public), and an analytical study of the institutes impressionist gallery.
Museums offer rich encounters with reality, with objects from the past, and with possibilities for the future. The purpose of museums is to collect and preserve the results of human achievement and evidence of the natural world and to use these collections to enhance human knowledge and understanding. The word museum, from the Greek term meaning site of the Muses, was used for the famous institution in Alexandria, Egypt. It was founded in the third century BC, and used as a type of research institute, incorporating a great library. Although there were many collections of art and other precious objects in the ancient world, there were no museums in the modern sense of the word. The term today covers a very broad range of institutions that aim to delight, to instruct, and, more recently, to entertain the masses.
Entertaining and comforting masses amount of people is not simple. The exhibits must be spacious enough to allow large amounts of people to occupy the space without feeling smothered. But it needs to be small enough to recognize the importance of the artwork. The Impressionist gallery in the Art Institute fulfills both of these needs by careful floor planning. They accompanying figure Shows the floor plan of the exhibit.
The use of space is brilliantly planned. The most popular masterpiece (Caillebottes Paris Treet: Rainy Day ) is displayed on its own wall, centered towards the back of the one hundred square foot (approximately) room. This is done for one extremely important reason, circulation. Circulation, or the movement of visitors in exhibition space, takes its pattern from the layout of the room (dotted line represents circulation pattern). But how the visitor responds to the space arrangement may be effected by the artwork and is influenced by a complex of human habits called visitor behavior. With the most popular painting on its own wall, with an open space of about 75 square feet in front of it, people can view the painting for a long period of time without disrupting the circulation. The wall extra wall also creates a barrier that people must go around, influencing movement. Which in turn reduces distractions and lets the visitor focus on the deserving artwork.
Lighting is a difficult problem for art museums. Reliance on natural light (often considered best for viewing paintings) may limit museum hours and prove unacceptably variable, among other problems. Artificial light may alter perception of objects colors and damage them by causing the fading of pigments. The impressionist exhibition uses mixed lighting, light coming partly from the sun and partly from lamps. The natural lighting enters the room through a giant blue tinted skylight, and the artificial lights come from lamps on the ceiling. The natural light serves as the room lighting, which makes the viewers at ease and helps detail the paintings. The artificial lights are pointed directly at the paintings, so they are seen clearly. To help light the entire room, the walls are painted a whitish gray so light will reflect off and illuminate the entire room. This way not as much artificial light is necessary.
Another reason why the walls are painted a light gray color is to keep the publics attention on the paintings.